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caddycruiser

The 'ole G8 & a lot of new touches

80 posts in this topic

I'm all over the place anymore, and don't post an excessive amount, but having met up with Roger to check out his Fleetwood a few weeks back he did encourage (or just remind... :AH-HA_wink: ) me to get some updates of my G8 posted, because there have been quite a few changes. All in all, as I also intended coming from my leased G6 and then Malibu, both with problems but alas, was something I could play with as much as I saw fit (i.e. own this time) to keep myself interested--the G8 has done that and more for me.

About 500 miles short of 10k and 7 months in, still has never been in for anything beyond an initial alignment & XM reflash, an oil change and the recent recall reflash for something lights/TPS related. The exception to this would be the suspension which I knew going in, was a splendid performer but sadly like the GTO, comes off the boat with some not so nice issues. Front strut mounts that are excessively worn & sloppy from some weak spots in the design and then exacerbated by the strapped down boat ride, being the main one.

1) Had that fixed with Pedders parts and while in there, of course, got the inkling to do more while it was apart, so in came a few more upgraded bushings front & rear (the single biggest change, period, without much $$ or parts...still, wow) and then completely new struts, shocks and sport coils with a slight drop. This car naturally sits high, especially in the rear, and bringing that down just a bit (to the extent without telling anyone, no one could point out the car was lowered after) even without a sway bar upgrade or otherwise really changes the handling. But, still, I've found I'm a 7/10ths driver except for the occasional acceleration burst and miss the stock "hovercraft" ride it used to have, plus ended up scraping the bumper on a curb after the drop, among other things...so more in store here, soon.

The current stance, for the time being at least...then we'll see:

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2) From there, the interior is great and I still love how insanely huge it is inside and with MUCH better seats than my previous vehicles--especially the Malibu that gave me neck & shoulder aches at more than 15 minutes--and how solid, quiet, etc. it is. There are some hard plastic sections that seem out of place with the rest with the rest of the dash and the soft, stitched door panels, all mainly around the center stack--but it didn't bother me much. I was, however, always looking at that dead spot cubby on the top of the center stack where a set of gauges used to be in '08 models, and it never did anything but collect dust. Always had or wanted a Nav beyond Onstar or just stuck to the window and though other G8'ers were coming up with ways to mount them in front of the shifter, on that top hole, etc., I can't stand "tacked on" even if it's well done.

In came a kit made of parts from the bread & butter Holden Commodore Omega model and its different but still the same underneath center stack. It uses a different center strip, radio surround and a top pod with a 4.3"ish screen for the clock & radio readout. One of the suppliers of Holden & other parts for these cars worked on making a kit that took all of the same parts and then had a custom bracket in place of the stock screen to that fit a 4.3" GPS perfectly and...wa-la. Stock looking Nav, different vents, different center stack trim, and no more dusty black hole. Everyone thinks it's stock and anyone who was in the car before is baffled how I did it...love it, even though I now realized I don't use the Nav much at all except for another gadget to look at.

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3) Another, around the time of the GPS, was a change to the center console armrest. Especially after my Malibu and the Fleetwood before that, I just could not stand the plasticy, rubbery, eww of a rubber console lid under my elbow. The fact that it felt cheap and rickety and wobbled all over the place didn’t help matters. So in came again another Holden piece, this time the thicker, padded, and upholstered center console lid used on stock Calais, Caprice, etc. models. Feels more solid, is much nicer to my elbow and is taller AND like the Malibu and others now, it slides forward to completely cover the cupholders or back, depending on what I want at anytime. So much nicer.

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4) I always have all season mats in every one of my cars, because I loathe the look or feeling of constantly stepping with dirty shoes onto just another piece of carpet. No molded Weathertech or other mats for this car as others I’ve had, so I kept looking and found the perfect match—stock Holden accessory rubber floor mats, Holden lion logo and all for the VE cars. Didn’t cost anymore to get these DHL’d over from Oz in 2 days than any others I’d buy, and they’re an OEM part. Great.

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5) Onto the outside…rear first.

This car is gorgeous, if not thought by me, but evidenced by the attention, questions and “can I see” “what is that?” every single day. That said, there’s always room to improve :AH-HA_wink:

This time the inception of the GXP brought some nice pieces to the party, at least front & rear. At the back, the base and GT models have a “smooth” rear diffuser with a honeycomb grille of sorts on top to match the fronts. Looks nice, fits the car, etc. but the honeycomb with a black back gets annoying with dirt collection and the GXP got a new design that was both all smooth, ridged, and looked meaner without being gaudy. For not much, I had to have one.

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After:

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6) Still outside…now the nose.

I like to say this one was because I scraped the original fascia underneath ever so lightly on a curb post lowering, but really I just liked the look of the GXP fascia a lot more once I saw a few AND as it became known, the parts were both not expensive and even cheaper than the other fascia. Knowing how GM was very quickly trying to dump parts stocks and the car was at the end, I bought as soon as I could and then just had to arrange the install and such.

So, now, it has an entirely new GXP fascia. Love it. I dropped it at the body shop the day it came in, they painted it and let it sit in storage for a month or so, and then the install. As I had a full clear bra installed on the car (funny, that cost more than all of the parts in making this swap themselves…) I had to have that re-done and since the original still could go to so much use, I sold it to another Pacific Slate G8 owner in VA looking to get rid of his ugly front plate bracket and have a spare fascia. Perfect.

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7) Other stuff…

…there’s been so much and I still have so much in boxes, or at least little things, I often lose track. AMEX likes me, I can say that, hah. Tune, cold air intake, removed & changed some emblems (no more GM chicklets->Holden VE 6.0Litre fender badges, no more “Pontiac” on trunk & GT<->G8 swapped order), all existing Pontiac arrowheads are now silver vs. red…lots of little things.

Coming up I’ll say more to the suspension as noted above, in some form, I have new Holden 2-piece engine covers still to install (vs. the big stock 1-piece thing I put in a closet), a Corsa exhaust, etc., etc. Should still keep me going for some years, hah, and without any problems to worry about it’s easier to keep it out of the dealer’s hands…imagine that, after my 2 consecutive “WTH is going?” on rides :AH-HA_wink:

Oh, and I still need to get a new sig that's not just a fuzzy resized picture...something Pacific Slate color themed and with a G8 in some form...have to hit up DodgeFan or otherwise, at some point. We'll see.

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Wow! Fantastic work, especially with the GPS/dash integration! The GXP cues on the front and back look awesome too!

Looking real sharp! thumb.gif

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Wow! Fantastic work, especially with the GPS/dash integration! The GXP cues on the front and back look awesome too!

Looking real sharp! thumb.gif

Thanks...GPS and GXP bits...those 2 areas always get the most :thumbsup:

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Awesome. I love it all. I'm insanely jealous.

I'm curious as to what screen you used for the Nav...did it come from the Omega? Interesting how it lights up 'Pontiac' even though it wasn't designed for the G8.

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Interesting how it lights up 'Pontiac' even though it wasn't designed for the G8.

Chances are, it's a custom splash screen that was loaded onto the Garmin unit. I'm sure an end-user can probably change it with general ease through their computer.

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Chances are, it's a custom splash screen that was loaded onto the Garmin unit. I'm sure an end-user can probably change it with general ease through their computer.

You got it :AH-HA_wink:

It's just a Garmin and the start up screen can be changed to any .JPG your heart desires...in this case, given the integration, this Pontiac background that's almost identical to what the lower radio/climate screen starts with, how could I not? Now, if only it didn't still initially light up the Garmin logo for a few seconds beforehand :rolleyes:

Here's the Omega dash and the basic screen it does use in that spot:

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Edited by caddycruiser
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Excellent work! You've taken an already great ar and stepped it up to the next level. I love the interior improvements, especially the GPS, and the GXP style fascias.

Have you thought about GXP wheels?

Modding is fun and addictive. 8)

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Excellent work! You've taken an already great ar and stepped it up to the next level. I love the interior improvements, especially the GPS, and the GXP style fascias.

Have you thought about GXP wheels?

Modding is fun and addictive. 8)

I have yes...I'm a big fan of the 19" GT wheels and at this point, although I've casually looked for a set of GXP polished wheels to pick up at a decent price, it's nothing I "have to have" like other mods. The GT Sport wheels often get as many questions and compliments as the car itself...or should I say "those rims" do :AH-HA_wink:

Oh, so more to come. The only visual thing I think will be the car raising back up a bit, but we'll see, and then more of something. Underhood and exhaust in some form. I just have to give myself a reality check sometimes and realize it doesn't even have 10k on it yet and there is that warranty thing...though it's great, hah, it has no care yet for it yet. Keep it slim, keep it slim, Derek...well, sorta. Next, I think, it just needs an exhaust change. With AFM/DOD you have to be very careful, but Corsa is the ticket at the moment for a catback and headers, too, at some point.

By the way, though I'm still now just used to it, having a car that scratches into 2nd and 3rd under moderate/harder acceleration gives you a skewed perception of everything "else" if taking another car out, hah. Any next cars I think about are going to be interesting in this regard...I already can't drive the 4-cyl '08 Malibu anymore because the lack of any power scares me. It revs but doesn't go anywhere, the complete opposite of this small block Aussie.

Edited by caddycruiser
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Fantastic, tasteful modifications. Spot on, my friend!:)
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Fantastic, tasteful modifications. Spot on, my friend!:)

Thanks. It certainly is just a little different than when you last saw & drove it...actually the next weekend was when it all really started, suspension & otherwise...

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Here's one of the "others" just snapped today, finally, and in bad lighting.

The removal of Pontiac on the trunk & replaced G8 & GT in the correct order:

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Are those badges on your car like the concept badge the G8 concept had? I loved that design.

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As blue said, Spot on mods to an already awesome car.

What is that neat Regal I see reflected in the paint on the G8? Looks like a sweet ride also.

Chris

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Looks great! I am so jealous! I really like the nav/dash job and also the rear diffuser!

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Are those badges on your car like the concept badge the G8 concept had? I loved that design.

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Not at the moment, no, but I do have a set of those still in a box...of course. They're not exactly the same, but there's a small company that got license by GM to produce "those", they machine them, and then you can have the centers painted or made whatever color--or no color--that you prefer. I have a set of silver ones, but for the time being just have silver metallic decals made for all of the emblems (front, rear, center caps, steering wheel) over the red instead.

Here's the ones I have just sitting, made for this car front & rear by that company:

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As blue said, Spot on mods to an already awesome car.

What is that neat Regal I see reflected in the paint on the G8? Looks like a sweet ride also.

Chris

Brother's '86 Regal LTD 307. Light blue, black factory partial vinyl top, dark blue velour tufted interior, etc.

Behind the G8 now, not seen, is a new '68 Dodge Coronet 440 project...then the Legacy, Fleetwood, and Malibu.

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Not at the moment, no, but I do have a set of those still in a box...of course. They're not exactly the same, but there's a small company that got license by GM to produce "those", they machine them, and then you can have the centers painted or made whatever color--or no color--that you prefer. I have a set of silver ones, but for the time being just have silver metallic decals made for all of the emblems (front, rear, center caps, steering wheel) over the red instead.

Here's the ones I have just sitting, made for this car front & rear by that company:

DartSilver1.jpg

DartSilver2.jpg

Brother's '86 Regal LTD 307. Light blue, black factory partial vinyl top, dark blue velour tufted interior, etc.

Behind the G8 now, not seen, is a new '68 Dodge Coronet 440 project...then the Legacy, Fleetwood, and Malibu.

Those are quite cool, however I would love it if they could exactly replicate them.

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Those are quite cool, however I would love it if they could exactly replicate them.

I know, that was my one hold up & why they're not on the car yet...they're extremely high quality & true to form in dimension & such, but still don't have the right silver "texture" background with the OEM typical piece of clear plastic over. Still, I've seen them on several G8's and they look great, and better than my decal covered variety, so we'll see. It's a Pontiac and I'm not changing that, I just didn't like the red anymore, or something. I don't remember. I just get an idea & order.

Last weekend I installed an oil catch can (those of you who are more mechanically inclined know this one), on the PCV system as it's quite a common mod and a few companies offer them, and after a week there's already oil in it. Great intake, etc. saving addition and a beautiful piece of billet.

Underhood is another area where I'm unsure...at least visually. The big clunky stock engine cover is removed until I can get a secondary intake cover off & snap on my Holden 6.0L side covers, but otherwise aside from my catch can I'm undecided on more billet, more red, more hmm.

Here's mostly what it looks like under there, by the way, with no engine cover and the Roto-Fab intake and front radiator support cover:

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